Feb 28, 2010
Feb 26, 2010
Feb 25, 2010
Feb 24, 2010
Feb 23, 2010
Feb 22, 2010
.99 Review: Emily West - Blue Sky (feat. Keith Urban)
The People's Take:
AhhhMAzing! (5 Stars) - LOVE IT! LOVE HER!I live in Nashville and see so many unappreciated, amazingly talented artists that deserve to be heard...Emily West is one of them. I think her time has come and she is on the verge of being a big, big star!!!! Such a beautiful song!!! GET THIS SONG NOW!!!!! PS if you ever get the chance to see her live - GO! She is so much fun and great in convert!!!!
- Hunk Of Burnin' Love
Calm Down.... (3 Stars) - Emily West is the next Faith Hill! But she has horrible stage presence. Saw her open for Luke Bryan at Joe's in Chicago and she was extremely hard to take seriously. Amazing vocals. Just wish she'd calm down and let the audience enjoy it. Can't wait to see what she grows into though. Keep an eye on this one!
A new female artist releasing a sparse, sad ballad at a time when new female singers aren't exactly filling the Top 40 is a questionable career choice to say the least. Adding Keith Urban as a backup vocalist (and a prominent name on the song title) doesn't hurt prospects, but still, if it's not an exceptional song, one of this ilk would likely be on and off the charts inside a month.
Happily, this is an exceptional song, well written and beautifully performed by one of Nashville's most engaging young talents. Emily West has become known early in her career as funny and frankly honest, so one might expect her to be more suited for Brad Paisley-style laughers and chick-attitude songs. With Blue Sky, she proves to be quite adept at a tearjerker without artificially pulling the heartstrings with overdone high notes and overwritten lyrics.
Here, West informs a cheating lover that she can't be his blue sky, his happiness, anymore. Her voice also reveals that her own blue sky is now obscured by storm clouds. She wills the metaphor to sound fresh where it would have fallen flat coming from a lesser vocalist.
Hopefully, "Blue Sky" is only the beginning for Ms. West. Along with Sarah Buxton, she may finally break through Nashville's recent glass ceiling for performers of the fairer sex not named Taylor Swift.
Blue Sky isn't particularly country. It fits into the current definition of mainstream country comfortably, but sets itself apart with strong song craft and powerful vocals, making it the highest rated single thus far on "Ninety-Nine Cent Reviews."
Total Value: .86/.99
(Foregoing the checklist for this edition)
Feb 21, 2010
Feb 20, 2010
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Feb 11, 2010
Feb 10, 2010
FARCE THE MUSIC: Alright, tape is rolling so everything from here on out is on the record.
KASEY ANDERSON: You don't own a tape recorder.
FTM: It's a figure of speech.
KA: No, it isn't.
FTM: You've built a reputation as being quite eccentric. Why do you think that is?
KA: It could be the amount of asparagus I eat - there's that smell about me, it confuses and arouses people. It could be my penchant for taking a six-hour nap immediately after waking up in the morning. It could be the fact that I own seven copies of every film Nick Nolte has ever appeared in. There's something about that number. Seven. People can't get their minds around it.
FTM: It does have a sort of mystical, biblical connotation to it.
KA: Right. Seven books of the Bible...
FTM: There are 66 books in the Bible.
KA: Which is divisible by seven. You get a remainder, but...
FTM: Moving on. You've been quoted as saying your first album, Dead Roses, was you "learning how to write songs while tape rolled." How did that experience shape your writing?
KA: That was a literal statement. I had never used paper and pen to transcribe lyrics prior to those sessions. The walls of my apartment were covered in crayon.
FTM: You wrote songs in crayon on your walls?
KA: What? No. I'm sorry. Those two statements were not related. I used body heat to write with my fingers on Hypercolor shirts. That's how I remembered songs.
FTM: Wouldn't that fade?
KA: Doesn't everything?
FTM: How profound. Your second album, The Reckoning, was largely political. How do you feel about what has transpired in the country since 2007, when The Reckoning was released? Have you seen changes?
KA: I have. We all have. You'd have to be blind, deaf, and dumb not to. The 2008 election was a very proud moment for the United States but you start to wonder if electing a new president isn't a little bit like mopping the floor of a burning house. There's a lot of work still needs to be done. We'll get there, but we need leadership, not pandering.
FTM: Nowhere Nights is almost entirely autobiographical. What inspired you to write a record almost entirely about yourself?
KA: A friend was borrowing all of my mirrors.
FTM: The album follows you as you leave Bellingham, Washington, where you lived for ten years. Do you miss it?
KA: No. But the album is not so much about leaving a place as it is about leaving a life. There's that saying, "Wherever you go, there you are," which I really hate because a lot of those people, they move very slowly and they're in my way. I have errands, you know? I have to get to the post office before 3:00 P.M. or the best stamps are gone.
FTM: Right. Of course. How do you feel about "New Country," or "Young Country" music?
KA: A lot of it is catchy but then, so is syphilis.
FTM: A lot of songwriters have checkered pasts; yours is shrouded in mystery. Have you ever had any trouble with the law?
KA: Man's Law, God's Law, Seth's Law, Murphy's Law, Law and Order.
FTM: Isn't that a Zach Galifianakis bit?
KA: The guy from Out Cold?
FTM: Among others, yes.
KA: Never heard of him.
FTM: How do you write? Take us inside the process.
KA: Lately what I have been doing is spending most of the day at the DMV, transcribing people's conversations. Real, slice-of-life stuff. Like Carver.
FTM: Raymond Carver?
KA: I'm sorry, McCarver. Tim McCarver. The broadcaster. McCarver, Joe Buck, Joe Morgan. These are the true modern masters of the English language.
FTM: Anywhere else you find inspiration?
KA: Old shoes, picture postcards...
FTM: That's the title of Tom Waits song. You lifted that directly from Tom Waits.
KA: The guy from Mystery Men?
FTM: Sure. Pretty good songwriter, too.
KA: I don't know who that is.
FTM: Fine. Last question: You'll be on tour for most of 2010. Do you subscribe to the belief that a rolling stone gathers no moss?
KA: Oh, sure. But I have a lamp that's 50 years old that hasn't gathered any moss, either. So maybe I should just stand in one place and let my light shine.
FTM: Wow. That's pretty deep.
KA: I think it's from an old Carrot Top bit.
FTM: The guy from Chairman of the Board?